National / International News

Welsh politicians debate Scots vote

BBC - 3 hours 10 min ago
Extra powers for Wales, how it is funded and whether it would be weaker if Scotland left the union are the subject of a debate on the impact of the independence referendum.

China creates a texting lane

I don't known whether it's this week's sign the apocalpypse is upon us, or simply an acknowledgement of reality, but officials in Chongqing, China have created an entirely separate section of sidewalk just for pedestrians using cellphones.

That is, people walking along with their noses down in their phones.

It should help with those awkward near-collisions, but the signs do have a disclaimer: "Walk in this lane at your own risk."

Chongqing City has set up China's 1st "exclusive sidewalk for mobile phone users ” to avoid possible crashes on Fri pic.twitter.com/jFiCbbE1yk

— People's Daily,China (@PDChina) September 13, 2014

 

Alert halts Queen's drug conference

BBC - 3 hours 22 min ago
Army bomb experts attend a security alert at Queen's University Belfast after a suspicious package was found on the main campus.

Microsoft founders commit $59 million to fight Ebola

Last week, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation committed $50 million “to support the scale up of emergency efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak,” and Paul Allen has pledged $9 million. 

On Tuesday, President Obama will travel to Atlanta, where he will visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC has been overseeing the U.S. government’s response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, but Gilbert Burnham, co-director of the Center for Refugee and Disaster Response at Johns Hopkins University, gives a lot of credit to philanthropists like Gates and Allen.

"This is going to be the thing that turns the tide, the concern of individuals, rather than just the concern of government here,” he says.

The field of public health has changed, and, according to UNC medical anthropologist Peter Redfield, foundations and non-governmental organizations are more important than ever. “I think we now have a different set of expectations of what will happen in response to a kind of crisis or outbreak, and who will be the primary actors involved.”

Governments and the United Nations used to take the lead, but Dan Bausch, an expert on infectious diseases at Tulane University, says budgets took a hit after the financial crisis. “We probably would be on top of this more than we are if we hadn’t seen some dwindling of those funds in recent years.”

The Gates Foundation plays an outsize role in public health these days, but Rebecca Katz, a public health professor at George Washington University, says this pledge of support is kind of out of character. “They haven’t traditionally been engaged in disaster response,” she says. “But this outbreak is precedent-setting in all sorts of ways.”

Katz hopes some of that money will help with personnel. She says there are fewer than 250 doctors in all of Liberia.

“In Sierra Leone, you’re looking at a ratio of one physician for 30,000 people,” Katz says.

That is not nearly enough to combat an outbreak  that- as she and other experts say - is still out of control.

Dress like Olivia Pope with help from 'The Limited'

In the ABC drama “Scandal,” Kerry Washington plays the fiercely stylish Olivia Pope, a crisis manager in the nation’s capital. Just in time for the show's fourth season premiere later this month, The Limited is unveiling a line of clothing inspired by the show.  

While kids shows are no strangers to merchandising, the “Scandal” collection is hardly the first TV licensing deal for grownups. Duck Dynasty-themed products brought in an estimated $400 million last year. And have you seen the Game of Thrones-branded beers?

Sometimes it happens in less obvious ways,” says Marty Brochstein with the Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association. “There is a furniture line connected to 'The Good Wife,' for example.”

Yes, you can sit on Alicia’s Guest Chair or Cary’s Office Sofa, from furniture retailer Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.

For the networks, Brochstein says, the goal isn’t just selling products, but getting more butts on those sofas, watching their shows.

“It is reminding you that the show is on and that you love it and wow, isn’t that a great look?” he says.

Fans of the AMC hit “Mad Men” may have had that thought walking by Banana Republic at the mall a while back. A line of clothing inspired by that show sold well for a while, says analyst Wendy Liebmann with WSL Strategic Retail.

“Then it faded pretty quickly,” she says. “For fashion, you know, it’s all fast and furious.”

One the other hand, demand for the products can outlast the shows, says the licensing association’s Marty Brochstein. Thanks to Netflix, people just getting into AMC’s “Breaking Bad” may still want a licensed hazmat suit for Halloween, even though the show ended a year ago.

What Obama Should Say And Do About Ebola

NPR News - 3 hours 23 min ago

The president is expected to announce a new U.S. effort to help stop the Ebola outbreak. What kind of help should the U.S. provide? We asked two specialists.

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Hull City 2-2 West Ham United

BBC - 3 hours 25 min ago
West Ham produce a spirited fightback as they twice come from behind to deny Hull City victory at the KC Stadium.

With Turmoil Roiling Abroad, Why Aren't Oil Prices Bubbling Up?

NPR News - 3 hours 36 min ago

Conflict in oil-producing regions usually sends oil prices higher. But the cost of oil has actually dropped, despite turmoil in the Middle East. Economists say it's a matter of supply and demand.

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Hundreds evacuated in US wildfires

BBC - 3 hours 44 min ago
Two wildfires in California have forced hundreds of people to evacuate, including one lakeside town where almost two dozen buildings burned down.

Gaultier quits ready-to-wear clothes

BBC - 3 hours 45 min ago
French fashion house Jean Paul Gaultier is to stop making ready-to-wear clothes for both men and women, and will focus on "haute couture" and perfume.

Medals Of Honor Recognize Harrowing Battle And A Dying Act

NPR News - 3 hours 49 min ago

President Obama awarded the medals to two soldiers who served in Vietnam. Bennie Adkins, who suffered 18 body wounds, reflects on "a horrible, horrible type of battle."

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Iraq's Artists Defy Extremists With Bows, Brushes And A Low Profile

NPR News - 4 hours 3 min ago

The musicians and artists of Baghdad work under a government that prefers religious festivals to classical concerts. But with a little cunning, they're finding ways to keep the arts alive.

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Migrant boat sinking 'kills 500'

BBC - 4 hours 10 min ago
About 500 migrants drowned after their ship was rammed by another boat near Malta last week, the International Organization for Migration says.

VIDEO: Why are London pavements exploding?

BBC - 4 hours 12 min ago
Two van drivers had a lucky escape after a pavement explosion in central London which was caught on CCTV.

Jailed man's family bid for help

BBC - 4 hours 16 min ago
The family of a man being detained in a notorious Indonesian jail appeals for help to free him.

Alain Locke, Whose Ashes Were Found In University Archives, Is Buried

NPR News - 4 hours 17 min ago

The author and philosopher is widely known as the father of the Harlem Renaissance. But it is not widely known that Locke, who died 60 years ago, was never buried.

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Key Brain Connection Slow To Develop In Kids With ADHD

NPR News - 4 hours 19 min ago

A network in the brain that helps control daydreaming seem to be slower to develop in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

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Scotland's Really Big Vote: Can Women Join St. Andrews Golf Club?

NPR News - 4 hours 31 min ago

Scotland's independence referendum is set for Thursday. On the same day, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews will announce whether women can join.

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Smartphones Are Used To Stalk, Control Domestic Abuse Victims

NPR News - 4 hours 33 min ago

Cyberstalking has transformed domestic abuse in the U.S. Tracking tools called spyware make it cheap and easy for someone to monitor a partner secretly, 24 hours a day.

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Salmond and PM present rival visions

BBC - 5 hours 3 min ago
First Minister Alex Salmond joins business leaders to argue for a Yes vote, as Prime Minister David Cameron outlines "head and heart" reasons to vote No.
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